‘Succession’ star Brian Cox to voice Santa Claus in new Netflix film
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‘Succession’ star Brian Cox to voice Santa Claus in new Netflix film

His role in Succession was anything but jolly, but Brian Cox will be putting Logan Roy even further in his rear-view mirror by taking on the role of Santa Claus in an upcoming animated feature.

Adapted from the children’s book series penned by Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and Bridget Jones filmmaker Richard Curtis, everyone’s favourite curmudgeonly small screen patriarch will be embracing his more wholesome side in That Christmas.

The film will be helmed by Simon Otto, an animation veteran with credits on the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, Kung Fu Panda, Over the Hedge, Flushed Away, and Netflix’s own Love, Death & Robots, with That Christmas marking his feature-length directorial debut.

Alongside Cox, the voice cast will include Fiona Shaw, Jodie Whittaker, Bill Nighy, Lolly Adefope, Alex Macqueen, Katherine Parkinson, and Sindhu Vee, with Netflix and production company Locksmith Animation promising “a series of entwined tales about love and loneliness, family and friends, and Santa Claus making a big mistake, not to mention an enormous number of turkeys.”

For Curtis, That Christmas will be his first foray into animation, which he’s already described as “the most amazing adventure.” It’s new ground for a writer and director so closely associated with the decidedly British romantic comedy, but Otto couldn’t be more excited at working alongside someone with such a distinguished filmography.

“Never could I have imagined that one day I would get the chance to direct a Christmas film written by the one and only Richard Curtis and collaborate with some of the most iconic voice talents,” he said, with Otto hoping That Christmas has what it takes to enter the pantheon of festive greats that find themselves rewatched every year.

“Becoming an animator had been on my Christmas wish list ever since I was a child and watching animated movies was one of the biggest Christmas traditions in my family,” he continued. “Watching this cast bring life to these heart-warmingly funny tales and infuse them with the magic of animation is truly a dream come true. I hope That Christmas becomes a cherished tradition for audiences worldwide.”

There’s been no release date revealed as of yet, but it would be stating the obvious to say Netflix will be lining up that Christmas as one of its marquee festive season releases, with the names involved both behind the scenes and the recording booth having the potential to deliver an enduring Yuletide favourite.